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Soldiers' Soldier

The Soldiers' Soldier award goes to the trainee who receives the most votes in a secret ballot of all the recruits in the platoon. They will have chosen a mature character who will not only have performed well on the course, he will also have been outstanding in helping other members of the platoon when they need it.

He’ll be someone his peers can turn to when the course gets tough. He will have been in the running for the Best Recruit Award and will have leadership potential.

 

RIFLEMAN BRANDON HANN

Rifleman Brandon Hann, 21, from Somerset, has won his platoon’s Soldiers’ Soldier award. His platoon commander, Lieutenant Tom Jamison, said: “Rifleman Brandon has won the Soldiers’ Soldier award. The recruits vote for this award and it goes to the man who they would want by their side in a tight situation. This recognises not only Rifleman Brandon’s hard work he has put in to achieve success, but also the work he put in to help others achieve success." Rifleman Hann received his award at the pass out parade on 4 November.

Rifleman Hann said: “My dad was in the Light Infantry and he was obviously a big influence in me joining. I knew the training was going to be tough and it was in places, but it was also really enjoyable. My own confidence was boosted throughout the course, you do lots of things that you would never have dreamed of doing as a civilian. The training team are there to get you through the course, they really know what they’re doing. I’m quite proud of the fact that the majority of the lads voted for me.”

Rifleman Hann will take some well-earned leave before joining his new unit the 5th Battalion The Rifles in Bulford.

 

KINGSMAN MATTHEW DITCHBURN KINGSMAN MATTHEW DITCHBURN

Kingsman Matthew Ditchburn, 27, from Workington, has won his platoon’s Soldiers’ Soldier award. His platoon commander, Lieutenant Charlie Holder-Williams, said: “Kingsman Ditchburn has a strong personality and sets a good example to his younger peers. He can be relied on to uphold the values and standards expected of him as a soldier.” Kingsman Ditchburn received his award at the pass out parade on 19 August.

Kingsman Ditchburn said: “My first attempt at training in the army ended in a serious injury and I was medically discharged. It has taken me a few years, but I was determined to get back in. It has been a good, hard course at Catterick and I was pushed out of my comfort zone a lot. I have learned about myself, too, I have changed quite a bit. Being awarded this prize was completely unexpected, you don’t come to Catterick to win prizes, but I am over the moon about it.”

Kingsman Ditchburn will take some well-earned leave before joining his new unit the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in Cyprus.

 

RIFLEMAN AIDAN FLYNN RIFLEMAN AIDAN FLYNN

Rifleman Aidan Flynn, 22, from Stevenage, has won his platoon’s Soldiers’ Soldier award. His platoon commander, Lieutenant Simon Reed, said: “Rifleman Flynn has been a strong performer from the first day of the course. He worked hard for others and has earned the respect and trust of his fellow recruits.” Rifleman Flynn received his award at the pass out parade on 19 August.

Rifleman Flynn said: “I was in the Army Cadets for six years, so it is no surprise I joined the army. I was cap-badged The Rifles as a cadet, and it was always going to be my regiment when I joined the Regulars. My family were surprised it took me so long to join, but I didn’t think I was mature enough until now. Now that I have made the leap, I have really enjoyed the training at Catterick. Although I brought my cadet experience with me, and I was quite confident, I learned a lot of skills in depth during the course, skills that are taught at a pace that ensures you take it all in. It is an honour to have been voted the soldiers’ soldier by the blokes I have just spent the last six months with, but none of us would stand by if someone was struggling, we would all chip in and help. My parents are over the moon about the award.”

After some well-earned leave, Rifleman Flynn will join his new unit the 3rd Battalion The Rifles based in Edinburgh.

 

PRIVATE ROSS McCORMICK PRIVATE ROSS McCORMICK

Private Ross McCormick, 19, from Airdrie, has won his platoon’s Soldiers’ Soldier award. His platoon commander, Lieutenant Dan Morgan, said “Private McCormick is a bright, switched-on soldier who is also more mature than his years suggest. Always willing to go the extra mile to help others, this is a well-deserved award.” Private McCormick received his award at the pass out parade on 19 August.

Private McCormick said “Before joining I was job-jumping, getting a bit of experience here and there, all the while doing research into which regiment I was going to join. My research led me to 3 SCOTS, and I fell in love with their history as the Black Watch. Despite the amount of research I had done, the course at Catterick surprised me. There is a lot more to being an infantryman than I imagined, there is a lot of thinking involved for a start. Once I had worked that out, it was a great course. It felt a bit weird being voted the soldiers’ soldier, I didn’t realise I was in the running for an award, but it is an honour.”

After a two weeks’ driver training course, Private McCormick will take some well-earned leave before joining his new unit the 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland in Inverness.